Saanich filmmaker Helena Thom

Saanich filmmaker a finalist in web contest

The Quiet Canadians, an action drama by Saanich director and producer Helena Thom and her partner Anthony Epp

Canadians are often stereotyped as polite, friendly and usually the first to say sorry, but assassins? That’s a new one.

The Quiet Canadians, an action drama by Saanich director and producer Helena Thom and her partner Anthony Epp, puts a spin on our national identity, taking a fictional look into the undercover world of Canuck hitmen. The original web series is currently in the Telus Storyhive contest, which pits B.C. and Alberta filmmakers against each other for a chance at $50,000 to finish their six-episode shows.

Thom attended the University of Victoria for psychology, but stumbled into the film industry after graduating with her degree.

“I was kind of an in-the-closet writer,” she said with a laugh. “I was always intrigued with how movies were made, but I didn’t actually seek out the information.

“I was volunteering at a haunted house one year and that’s when I met my partner. We started coming up with ideas for a script. From there, we started writing more. Everything just happened very organically.”

One of those ideas was The Quiet Canadians, based on a spy novel of the same name by Warren Thompson. Together, Thom and Epp have taken the idea and turned it into a clever, thrilling drama with a sense of dark humour.

“Anthony has always wanted to do these espionage, James Bond type of movies,” said Thom. “We couldn’t decide whether it would be a feature or a short or a web series. We’d been talking about it back and forth for about a year and a half, and then the opportunity came up with Telus Storyhive.”

The duo put together their pitch for the competition and were one of 15 teams shortlisted for the B.C. contest. They are currently putting together the pilot for the web series, which will be voted on by the public.

Based on votes and the decision of a judging panel, the winning team will receive a $50,000 grant to produce five more episodes of their series.

“It’s very exciting,” said Thom. “We are the only action drama. There’s a lot of comedy and horror-type comedies with zombies. There’s a lot of interesting dramas, but ours is the only action drama in the line of espionage.”

Without giving too much away, Thom said the pilot will give viewers a taste of the thriller and leave them wanting more – particularly five episodes more.

“We introduce a little bit more of the main character,” she said. “We learn a little bit more about his background and the organization that will be hunting him.”

Voting starts in August. To view the pitch video for The Quiet Canadians or for more information, visit



Just Posted

Saanich Mayor says ‘no costs asked of municipality’ for proposed film studio

Mayor Fred Haynes made that comment after questions from watchdog group

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

Researchers head out from Sidney to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano

The Explorer Seamount is as large as Greater Vancouver and full of previously undiscovered species

Police seek witnesses after man assaulted at Central Saanich bus stop

Man found Saturday on Keating X Road remains in serious condition at Victoria General Hospital

RCMP identify Sidney bank robbery suspect, believe he is still on Vancouver Island

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read